The Evolution Of Child-Safe Pharmaceutical Packaging

Pharma packaging

When it comes to primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging, one of the first questions asked is how safe are children from pharmaceutical drugs?

48.5% of the U.S. population has taken one prescription drug, at least, in the past 30 days. Keeping these drugs up and away from children is one of the best ways to protect a child against accidental overdose and poisoning; however, accidents do happen. Which is why primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging options are provided in an array of child safe options such as caps, openings, and cartons.

In the past 40 years, child-resistant pharmaceutical packaging has evolved quite a bit. In 1970, the PPPA or Poison Prevention Packaging Act was enacted in the United States to protect children from the accidental ingestion of drugs such as aspirin. However, because elderly patients often have difficulty utilizing child-safe packaging, newer pharmaceutical packaging concepts have been introduced as a means of both keeping children safe from poisoning and also allowing the elderly better and easier access to their prescriptions.

Concepts include tubes within the prescription bottle, which can only be accessed by an adult; a series of three buttons on the side of the prescription bottle which must be pressed at the same time to open the top; and finally, button alignment where three buttons must be aligned together in order for the person to remove the top of the prescription bottle.

While primary pharmaceutical packaging, such as blister packaging and blister card packaging, is most often used to keep children safe from accidental poisoning, secondary pharmaceutical packaging has the ability to be child safe as well. Secondary pharmaceutical packaging aims to be elderly-friendly and safe for child-resistance by hermetically sealing their packages. Paper used to box pharmaceutical drugs are also typically coated with laminate, which is more difficult for children?s fingers to open.

Clinical packaging and pharmaceutical packaging companies have come a long way from the beginning stages of child-safety regulations and new types of packaging are being conceived, designed, and constructed every year. However, despite pharmaceutical packaging’s evolution of keeping children safe from poison ingestion, dangers still exist. The best way to keep your child safe from accidental ingestion of pharmaceutical and prescription drugs is not by using the safety seal on the caps of the bottles and packages, although it is helpful. Rather, the best way is to keep your pharmaceutical and prescription drugs out of sight, out of reach, and in a place with a lock.